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and the more moderate, they are careful to discri- BOOK minate) that from the common principle of self preservation, they will retaliate according to their power, and the degrees of guilt, on such privy counsellors, lords of justiciary, officers, and soldiers, their abettors and informers, whose hands shall still continue to be embrued in their blood 3. The declaration was affixed to different churches, and appeared the more alarming from the murder of two soldiers, active in persecution, whose murder however the societies have ever disclaimed.
Every petty oppressor felt or imagined the knife at his throat. But although a pernicious race of informers was intimidated, the government was instigated to atrocities worse than any which the declaration had denounced. The court of session was again consulted, whether the refusal to answer or to disavow the declaration on oath, could amount to treason; but its prostituted affirmation was insufficient to gratify, and the forms of legal execution were too dilatory to assuage, the desire of revenge. An absolute and undisguised mas- A massacre sacre was appointed by a vote of council; "That council. "whosoever owned, or refused to disown the de"claration on oath, should be put to death, in the
presence of two witnesses, though unarmed "when taken.” A form of abjuration was prescribed, as the only security from military execution. The army was employed to enforce the 63 See Note V.
BOOK oath, with instructions to put such as acknowledged the declaration to the sword; to summon a jury, and to execute those on the spot who refused to disown it; to secure their families, above the age of twelve, for transportation, and to consign the habitations of the absent to the flames. Special commissions, or courts of inquisition, were appointed for twelve counties, with justiciary powers; and among other inhuman 'instructions, women active or obstinate in fanaticism, were ordered to be drowned, as improper objects of military execution".
Such inhuman mandates might appear increand mur- dible at present, or exaggerated by party zeal,
ders in the
fields. were they not attested by the records of the privy council. But the execution was not inferior to the spirit with which they were dictated. In whatever districts the declaration had appeared, the aged and infirm were dragged from their homes; the inhabitants, of each sex, were collected and surrounded by dragoons, with their swords drawn, till the abjuration was received. In other places it was carried by the military from house to house; it was imposed, indiscriminately, on old and young; and converted into a passport, without which it was death to travel. Innkeepers were required to exact an oath from travellers,
64 Wodrow, ii. 401-34, 5. From Mallet's Pref. to Amyntor, it would appear that the warrant for this massacre was signed by the king.
that their certificates were genuine; and the BOOK meanest centinel was invested often with justiciary in powers. Such was the inflexible observance of religious scruples, that many, who had never heard of the declaration before, refused to abjure it; and rather than condemn or disown their brethren, were arraigned, convicted, and led to execution on the same day 65. But as military execution became more frequent, a sanguinary period ensued, from which historians have turned away their eyes with horror. The recusants were shot to death on the roads, or at their daily occupations in the fields; the fugitives were slain in the pursuit, or were massacred in their retreats; and as the unbridled rage of the soldiers was restrained by no sense of humanity or of justice, the most wanton murders were perpetrated without inquiry, and without discrimination. Flight was equivalent to guilt; suspicion to proof. To disown, or to acknowledge the king according to the covenant, was alike treasonable; and death was inflicted in the midst of prayer, or without an interval to prepare for death. Under the command of Drummond, the officers chiefly noted for savage cruelty, were White, Balfour, Grierson, Urquhart of Meldrum, Douglas the marquis of Queensberry's brother, and above all, Graham of Claverhouse, who chose to forfeit, in the blood of his innocent, defenceless countrymen, the he65 Wodrow, ii. 436-9. App. Hind let loose, 199.
BOOK roism so gratuitously ascribed to the viscount Dundee. Upon one occasion, when six unarmed 1685. fugitives were intercepted, four were instantly shot in his presence; the remaining two were afterwards executed by his order; and another, a husband, whose flight he had arrested, was brought back to his family, to be put to death in the presence of his wife. To enumerate the various examples or victims of cruelty, would be a painful task. Of the number who perished in prison, or expired on gibbets, or were murdered in the fields, no certain computation is preserved. But the massacres begun in the present, continued to increase during the succeeding reign; and an expression ascribed, perhaps falsely, to James, was repeated with horror, that it never would be well with Scotland till the country south of the Forth were reduced to a hunting field 66.
Charles, convinced, according to some historians, that the government, even in England, was too violent to be permanent, had meditated the recall of his favourite Monmouth, and the exile of his brother, who had engrossed the whole administration of affairs. Whatever schemes of re
66 Hind let loose, 200. Wodrow, ii. 444-51. Cruickshank, ii. 335. Cloud of Witnesses. Hist. of the late Revo lution in Scotland, by J. S. Lond. 1690. On these massacres, and on the whole persecution of the reign, the episcopal historians are silent as the grave; they have never attempted a minute history of their church, after the restoration. Sce Skinner's Hist.
form were projected, a signal alteration in government was certainly intended; but Scotland had no relief to expect from the return of the duke. Preparations, it is said, were already made for his departure, when the king was struck with an apoplexy, and after a slight recovery, he relapsed in a few days into another fit, of which he expired. He died in the bosom of the Romish church, at the age of fifty-four, but at a juncture so critical and so favourable for the catholics, his unexpected death was imputed to poison 67.
Ever since the era of the accession, the sovereign His cha became so much estranged from Scotland, that, except in the civil wars of Charles I. his presence or personal interposition has seldom occurred. From the transactions in Scotland, therefore, under Charles II. it is neither possible to discover his private, nor equitable to judge entirely of his public character. His early misfortunes had rendered him an easy, unassuming companion, familiar and intimate with his attendants in exile. His converse with foreign courts had imparted an elegant refinement to his manners, which our
67 Macpherson's Orig. Pap. i. 147. Burnet, ii. 456. Welwood, 142. It is remarkable, but it does not amount to historical evidence, that the duke of Buckinghamshire concurs with Burnet and Welwood in this fact; that Doctor Short, the principal physician who attended Charles, believed that he had been poisoned, and declared, when dying, that he had been poisoned himself, for speaking his mind too freely of the king's death.